Right to Carry Handguns Essay

Pages: 8 (2532 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Law - Constitutional Law


Currently, 49 states have established legislations that enable them to either issue carry permits or authorize law-abiding citizens to carry firearms outside their home for protection ("National Right to Carry" par, 3). Moreover, 41 out of these states have fair shall issue permit systems that provide any law abiding citizens to obtain a license of permit in order to carry guns for self-protection.

This claim has been used to support the claims on the basis that the presence of a constitutional provision or right would negate the establishment of such rules. Therefore, the fact that states have enacted carry permit legislations implies that law abiding citizens don't have the constitutional right to carry guns for self-protection.

Emergence of Interstate Reciprocity Concept:

Following the enactment of the carry permit regulations across states, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012 was introduced in the United States Senate. The regulation would allow people with valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry firearms of handguns to other states that also issue permits. Furthermore, the law will also enable such individuals to carry a concealed handgun in any state that does not prohibit carrying of these weapons for legal reasons.

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The emergence of the concept and introduction of the law to the senate is an indication that law abiding citizens do not have a constitutional right to carry handguns for protecting themselves, their family, and property. If individuals had this right, there would be no need to establish such regulations since they will be at liberty to carry their firearms or handguns in any state for protection purposes.

Possibility of Federal Gun Registration or Licensing:

TOPIC: Essay on Right to Carry Handguns for Assignment

The possibility of the emergence of federal gun registration or licensing has been by opponents as an indicator of the lack of constitutional right to enable individuals to carry and use handguns for their own defense. These people state that there is a likelihood of the establishment of such federal agencies that would create standards for issuing carry permits or enforce gun control restrictions to a certain measure.

Viewpoint of the Issue:

In all levels of government in the United States, there are several gun control laws and legislations that have local codes that differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The existence and establishment of such laws emanate from the fact that the use of guns or gun culture has been a long-standing part of the American heritage and identity. The arguments on whether law abiding citizens are permitted to carry handguns and use them when under attack has been a controversial issue in the recent past due to the reasons that have been previously discussed. Moreover, the issue has also attracted huge debate because of the numerous advantages and disadvantages associated with the right to carry.

Based on the decisions of the Supreme Court regarding gun control issues, law abiding citizens have the constitutional right to carry handguns and use them in self-defense when under attack. At the center of these decisions has been the court's attempt to tackle the historical ambiguity that is associated with the issue. The Supreme Court has addressed the issues in order to clarify the Second Amendment that has been confusing since 1791 (Williams, Johnson & Mooar par, 20).

According to one of the decisions by the Supreme Court, the right of law abiding citizens to carry firearms was supported by the historical narrative that existed before and after the amendment was adopted. However, the constitution does not allow the unconditional prohibition of handguns or firearms possessed and used for self-defense in the home. As part of the ruling, the right to carry and use arms is not necessarily the right to carry a loaded handgun in public (Savage par, 1). In its decision regarding the District of Columbia vs. Heller case, the court struck down the handgun bans in both Washington and Chicago.

Some off the main arguments raised by opponents of the issue have been thwarted by the rulings made by the Supreme Court. For instance, the arguments on the existence of several permit issues and interstate reciprocity are refuted by the fact that the court has stated that this constitutional right does not provide absolute prohibition of carrying and use of guns for defense. In addition, the claim that such legislations could result in the likelihood of the establishment of federal agencies to create standards that would result in federal registration or licensing is largely insignificant and untrue.

Therefore, the existence of the constitutional right for law abiding citizens to carry handguns for self-protection is supported by both the clarifications of the Supreme Court in decisions regarding several cases and the arguments in favor of the issue. However, there is a great need for people to be informed on the scope of this right in case of confrontations.


The history of the right to carry firearms can be traced to the period when America was an agrarian and subsistence farming society. While the issue has become topic of controversial debate in the recent past that has generated various arguments in favor and opposition of it, law abiding citizens have this constitutional right.

Works Cited:

Arnold, Larry. "The History of Concealed Carry, 1976-2011." Texas Concealed Handgun Association. Texas Concealed Handgun Association, 25 Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

"THE FACTS: WHY RIGHT TO CARRY IS RIGHT FOR MISSOURI!" MOCCW - The Fight for Concealed Carry in Missouri. MOCCW.org, 9 May 2006. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

"National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012" Introduced in U.S. Senate." USA Carry. USA Carry, 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

"Right-To-Carry 2012." NRA-ILA: Insitute for Legislative Action. National Rifle Association of America. Institute for Legislative Action, 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

Savage, David G. "Supreme Court Revisiting Right to Bear Arms." Standard-Examiner. Standard-Examiner, 29 Aug. 2011. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. .

Williams, Pete, Alex Johnson, and Brian Mooar. "Gun Ruling to Spark Legal Battles… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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